Qatar says Syria needs to make right decision

March 14, 2012

Qatar’s prime minister said that the Syrian government needed to appreciate that it does not have much time to make the right decision.

“The international community, the Arab world and the Syrian people cannot wait any longer,” Shaikh Hamad Bin Jassem Al Thani said. “This was clearly confirmed by [the Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the Arab League for Syria] Kofi Annan. What the Syrians need to do is clear and the priority right now is to stop the bloodshed so that we can start talks about a solution to the situation in Syria,” Shaikh Hamad, who is also his country’s foreign minister, said in Doha on Tuesday evening.

Annan, the former UN Secretary General, has launched efforts to broker a halt to the hostilities in Syria. He said that he presented concrete proposals on ways to halt the attacks and secure humanitarian access to cities under attack to Syrian President Basher Al Assad when they met over the weekend.

Syria reportedly gave its answers on Tuesday and Annan is expected to issue a statement on the issue on Wednesday.

In his press conference, Shaikh Hamad said that there was hope Russia and Syria will join the rest of the countries and most of the international community in siding with the Syrian people.

“We have reached a point where if there is no accord, whether directly or through the Arab League or the UN Security Council, some countries, including Arab countries, have to assume their responsibilities and do what is necessary to end the violence,” Shaikh Hamad said.


Pressed to explain whether the needed action had a military character, the Qatari official said he did not determine the solution.


“I do hope that the situation is settled without further killings or military solutions. I also hope that wisdom will prevail and that the Syrian government makes a bold decision and commits itself to the Arab plan,” he said.

Shaikh Hamad said that the Arab street and most Arab states supported the Qatari-Saudi position towards the situation in Syria.

“This position emanates from a humanitarian stance and we cannot lapse into silence or forgive what is happening because it has gone well beyond what can be accepted. Our conscience cannot tolerate what is happening and the killing and the bloodshed have to end,” he said.

Shaikh Hamad said that the Syrian National Council has been recognized as the representative of the Syrian people at the Friends of Syria Conference in Tunis on February 24.

“The State of Qatar was a party to the panel that worked out the final communiqué of the international conference, and the Syrian National Council was recognized. All we hope now is that the factions of the Syrian opposition set aside their differences, reach an agreement and focus on how to help their brothers in Syria,” he said.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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